As 57,000 Children Are Infected To With Tuberculosis Annually
AKEEM ADEBAYO, ABUJA
Not less than 57,000 Nigeria children are infected with Tuberculosis annually, health expert has said.
This was made known at a Pre World TB Day organized by the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, (NTBLCP) and Stop TB Parnership Nigeria.
One of the experts, Dr. Odume Bethrand, who is the Executive Director of KNCV, said the Emergence of drug resistant TB poses a major health threat and could put at risk the gains made in efforts to end TB.
He also decried the fact that out of $278 million needed to control TB in Nigeria in 2019, only $52.8 million, 40%, was made available which affected the control of TB in 2019.
He noted that the theme for this year’s celebration is “Check that cough, Time no dey”, will ensure that the world is reminded of the commitments made and timely need for action to scale up, research, funding, human rights and accountability.
According to him, “Nigeria is among the 30 high burden countries for TB, TB/HIV and MDR-TB, ranked 6th among the 30 high TB burden countries and 1st in Africa.
“Nigeria accounts for 12% of the global TB incidence and notified cases, out of 429,000 estimated new TB cases in Nigeria in 2019 only 120, 266 were notified to the NTBLCP with 28% treatment coverage.
“An estimated 21,000 DR-TB cases recorded in 2018, only 2,384, 11%, we’re diagnosed and 83% of them enrolled on second day line treatment. Only 8% of all forms of notified TB cases are children less than 15 years. DOES CLINIC is only available in 30% of health facilities in Nigeria, and only 8% of them have TB diagnostic services. Of the $278 million needed for TB control in Nigeria in year 2019, only 40% was available to all the implementers of TB control activities in Nigeria, 8% domestic and 32% donor full dstv, with 60% funding gap”, he explained.
Also, the House of Representatives committee, Chairman on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Control , Abubakar Sarki Dahiru said that, we have a huge TB burden in Nigeria and we need all stakeholders to work together to be able to end TB in Nigeria.
According to him, the National Assembly is ready and willing to work with all the stakeholders in the fight against ending TB in Nigeria. Adding that they will do everything possible to see that Nigeria is free of TB.
On his part, the representative of World Health Organisation (WHO) Nigeria, Dr. Ayodele Awe solicited the support of both the government and the media agencies in the fight against TB in Nigeria.
According to him, the target elimination of TB is 2030 and this is 2020. So, the progress we are making is not enough. So, we need you to support us, by stimulating government support.
“He said the total amount of fund needed for TB each year, is $278M.How much are we having as domestic it is just 8 per cent and there is a huge gap of 167 million dollars gap that is supposed to help us for advocacy and increase in service coverage.
“And so, we need you to help us to stimulate government to look at this infectious disease and the message we want you to help us to pass is “any person that is coughing for two weeks or more could be TB, so, get yourself tested”, he added.
Also speaking, the National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli-Ulcer Control Programme, Dr. Adebola lawanson said, despite significant progress over the last decades, TB remains the world’s deadliest Infectious killer.
Each day, nearly 3,975 people lose their lives to TB and close to 27,397 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease.
TB is an infectious disease caused by bacteria known as mycobacteria tuberculosis. It is passed from from person to person through air. Anyone can have TB disease , but people experience who have weakened immune system are at higher risk of getting sick like elderly people, children, persons with diabetes Mellisus, HIV, cancer etc. TB most commonly affects the lungs but affect any other parts of the body.
TB symptoms include, continous cough lasting for two weeks or more, fever lasting for 2 weeks or more, sweating at night even when the weather is cold, weight loss, difficulty in breathing, chest pin and blood stain sputum. Diagnosis and treatment is free in all government owned health facilities.